IPL 2012 – IPL 5 – Latest Action Is Eye-Catching Stuff
This is proving to be a very difficult Indian Premier League season to predict. Both myself and my colleague Alastair Symondson have struggled during our Mr Predictor TV shows, and one comment left for us on YouTube advised us, quite fairly, to forget about thinking about giving up the day job.
Yesterday’s games were no exceptions. The Rajasthan Royals and the Royal Challengers Bangalore snatched victories from positions where they appeared down and out. While I have to admit I never completely ruled the Royals out given the pedigree of Brad Hodge, right up until Saurabh Tiwary hit the winning six for the Challengers, I had that one down as a Pune win.
There was a slight mid-innings wobble and then they imploded in the final over but otherwise they were on top throughout. A key difference between those two games was the standard of fielding.
Deccan Chargers coach Darren Lehmann came out afterwards and described his team’s performance in the field as ‘like an under-14 team’ and he was about right. The run chase started and ended with shocking misfields and there were two bad drops mixed in as well.
Conversely, in the evening game, both sides fielded outstandingly and there was some brilliant batting from the likes of Robin Uthappa, Chris Gayle and then AB de Villiers at the death, who played some extraordinary strokes. He looked to have been left with too much to do but in the end timed his charge perfectly.
One of Chris Gayle’s sixes injured a young fan and it was a lovely touch from the Jamaican to pay them a visit after the game. We often use terms such as ‘bruising’ and describe innings that ‘hurt’ an opposition in a metaphorical sense but when the IPL is in full flow, it isn’t just the fielders that are at risk – it is the umpires and the fans as well.
For one reason or another, you cannot take your eye off the action.